Officials in South Africa say more than 30 people were killed in clashes with police during a miners’ strike 100km northwest of Johannesburg.
Armed officers are reported to be patrolling the premises at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine near Rustenburg.
The police response has been compared to the brutalities of the apartheid era.
Hundred of workers have downed tools, demanding their four hundred euro a month salary be tripled.
The discontent has also been sparked by a dispute between the established National Union of Mineworkers, which is close to the ruling ANC party, and the fledgling Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union.
On Thursday, police opened fire on a group of striking miners who they say were armed with machetes. A spokesman from the Police Ministry says one of the workers was using a gun seized from a police officer killed in earlier violence.